Wainona Collins vividly remembers being close to Herman Hudson and James Holland throughout her 47 years at IU.
Collins said even though Hudson was legally blind, he was a visionary.
“This was his vision,” Collins said as she walked down the stairs of the IU Art Museum during the 25th anniversary celebration of the Hudson and Holland Scholarship Program.
Hudson and Holland director Marsha McGriff unveiled a dedication mural to the audience of Hudson and Holland students, alumni and administrators.
Smiles and claps filled the room when everyone saw the painting of brown, green and blue hues. The word “Lead” was spread out in big, brown letters on the mural. Portraits of young people of all different shades and complexions surrounded the word in the painting.
Gospel music group Voices of Hope opened the ceremony with a medley of gospel songs. Vocalist Virginia Githiri performed, and IUSA president Jose Mitjavila was the master of ceremonies for the event.
Collins, a retired IU employee, has seen the campus grow firsthand during her tenure as an Afro-American Studies Department employee.
She said she believes the Hudson and Holland Scholarship Program is necessary for students of color.
“You have to realize as African Americans we don’t have access to all the resources white students have,” Collins said.
The Hudson and Holland Scholars Program is named in honor of the late Herman Hudson and the late James Holland, African American faculty leaders who contributed to the advancement of African American studies and the social climate on campus.
Hudson was the founder of the Afro-American Studies Department and the African American Arts Institute, and Holland served as the associate and interim dean of the Graduate School for 30 years.
Former Hudson and Holland director Kevin Brown said Hudson was also the brainchild of the Hudson and Holland Scholarship Program.
Brown was the keynote speaker for the event and told the audience a thorough history of the program.
In the late 1980s there was a concern that the University wasn’t rigorously recruiting minority students. The Minority Achievers Program was created in 1987 to help recruit the bright and talented underrepresented minority students in the country, Brown said.
The program went through several changes over the years. In 1993, the Mathematics and Science Scholarship was added to the MAP in order to recruit a more rare population of African American, Hispanic and Native American students. Then, in 2004, the MAP and MASS program was renamed to what is now the Hudson and Holland Scholarship Program.
Junior Sarah Sanchez said the program has helped her realize what she wants to do for a career.
She was offered a teaching position after interviewing one of her exercise science professors for a Hudson and Holland class.
“Hudson and Holland was definitely a catalyst in that situation,” Sanchez said.
She said being a student in Hudson and Holland is like being part of a
little community on such a big campus.
“I was always the minority,” Sanchez said. “Coming to this campus and having a program specifically dedicated to minority students has been so nice.”
One of the major goals McGriff said she hopes to accomplish during her time as director of the program is to create a sustainability program that uses the successes of the alumni.
“Happy students become happy donors to IU,” McGriff said.
She said they are in the process of building a Hudson and Holland Alumni Association.
“It’s brick by brick, stone by stone to get it created, and that’s the legacy I want,” she said.
During Brown’s speech, he mentioned that the program has grown
tremendously throughout the years. Within the time span of 13 years,
the program affected 1,000 students in total.
Currently there are about 1,000 active students in the program in just one year.
McGriff said she believes the more the minority demographics change in the country, the more the University and the Hudson and Holland Program will have to keep up the pace.
“We are in the generation of extreme change in minorities in our nation,” McGriff said. “In 50 years, we are going to look so different than the way we look today. I want Hudson and Holland to be a part of the legacy and landscape of IU.”
At the end of the ceremony, McGriff held up her glass of wine and proposed a toast to the audience.
“Cheers to forever,” McGriff said.
Follow reporter Aaricka Washington on Twitter @AarickaWash.
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